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Can Knee Arthritis Cause Calf Pain?

Read this article to learn whether knee arthritis and calf pain are related and if one can cause the other.

By Abeera Maham
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Updated May 19, 2023.

Knee osteoarthritis is a disorder in which cartilage in the knee breaks down or degenerates. Degeneration of the articular cartilage, the flexible, slippery substance that ordinarily shields bones from joint friction and impact, is the hallmark of knee osteoarthritis.

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Yes, calf pain and knee pain are usually linked to some degree. If you have arthritis, you may experience pain the radiates from the knee to the calf. Arthritic joint discomfort is primarily caused by inflammation. Leg discomfort from arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, infectious arthritis, gout, bursitis, and tendonitis) can affect one or more joints or other regions of the musculoskeletal system.

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How Bad Knees Can Cause Calf Pain

The most prevalent type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is characterized by stiff and achy joints. Muscle spasms and leg cramps are common symptoms of severe illness. Pain, stiffness, and swelling can occur as the cartilage around the joint breaks down. Arthritic joints can also be hot and stiff.

A variety of knee disorders can cause strain on the muscles and tendons that go down the calf. A Baker's cyst, a consequence of knee arthritis, is a prevalent problem that can also be one of the conditions leading to calf pain. Legs, thighs, calves, hips, buttocks, and feet may experience discomfort. Aside from discomfort, other typical symptoms in the leg muscles include heaviness, numbness, or soreness. Rest is typically beneficial.

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